Shingles (Herpes Zoster) Julia Englert and Claudia Gervasini 8th Hour

Who, How, And When was Shingles Discovered?

It is unknown who, how, or where it was specifically discovered but we do have an idea. In the late 18th century, William Heberden, an English physician, was the first person to distinguish the differences between shingles and small pox.

Shingles often appears on the back or stomach. (Photo Courtesy of

Felix von Barunsprung discovered the neurological origin of shingles, after Richard Bright performed the first postmortem examination of a shingles victim. Along with Barunsprung and Bright, Sir Henry Head and A.W. Campbell were also one of the first people to identify shingles.

Diseases or Ailments Caused by the Pathogen:

Varicella zoster first causes chickenpox. The virus then goes dormant, but sometimes, for unknown reasons, it can reactivate. The reactivation of the virus then causes shingles. Blisters form on the surface of the skin and nerves are sometimes damaged. The virus is excruciatingly painful/a burning sensation or itchy feeling.

Illustration of the shingles virus. (Photo Courtesy of

How is shingles passed on?

In order to have shingles, a person must first have had chickenpox. It is impossible to catch shingles from another person. However, the virus can be transmitted. If it is transmitted, the person receiving the virus will not get shingles, but might get chickenpox. It is extremely dangerous for one infected with shingles to be around a newborn baby. The virus typically appears on the back, stomach or arms/legs, however it can be on the face or other areas of the body.

Prevention Practices:

There is a shingles vaccine that is recommended for all adults over the age of 60, whether or not they've had shingles. It can prevent both shingles and chickenpox. It is approved for all adults over 50, but not recommended until 60. Prescribed medications are the only possible treatments currently available.

Rate of obtaining the Shingles virus by age group (Photo Courtesy of

Benefits to Science:

A vaccine has been produced and there are now ways to prevent the virus. By getting the chickenpox vaccination, your risk for shingles is diminished. The shingles vaccine reduces the chance of obtaining the virus to 50%.

Works Cited:

"Shingles." The Free Dictionary. Farlex, n.d. Web. 28 Feb. 2017. <>

Onken, Michael. "Re: Who Discovered the Shingles?" Re: Who Discovered the Shingles? N.p., 19 Mar. 2004. Web. 28 Feb. 2017. <>

W., Melanie. "Shingles and Shingles (Zoster) Vaccine." Carrington. N.p., 25 Jan. 2016. Web. 28 Feb. 2017. <>

":: Medical Discovery News ::." :: Medical Discovery News ::. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Feb. 2017. <>

"Shingles (Herpes Zoster)." History of Vaccines. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Feb. 2017. <>

Healthwise Staff. "Shingles - Topic Overview." WebMD. WebMD, 12 Oct. 2015. Web. 28 Feb. 2017. <>

"Transmission." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 17 Sept. 2014. Web. 28 Feb. 2017. <>.

Steckelberg, James M., M.D. "Shingles Vaccine: Should I Get It?" Mayo Clinic. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Feb. 2017. <>.


Created with images by dominik18s - "IMG00065" • brownpau - "Electron Micrograph of Varicella Virus" • NIAID - "Varicella-zoster Virus" • dominik18s - "IMG00065"

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